Lauren Boebert has suffered flak for statements she made about the AR-15 semi-automatic gun on social media. This comes after a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday that killed 18 people and injured 13.
Authorities said a gunman, identified as 40-year-old Marine reserve Robert Card, opened fire at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley and the Schemengees Bar & Grille restaurant before fleeing. Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck stated on Friday that Card’s body had been discovered with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting has revived the heated debate in the United States about gun regulation, with horror writer Stephen King calling current legislation “madness in the name of freedom.” According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 567 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, with the one in Lewiston being the deadliest.
Boebert, on the other hand, took a quite different stance, lashing out on Friday at those advocating for stricter gun laws. “I’m not going to be lectured about gun safety by people who think the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for ‘assault rifle,'” the Colorado representative said on X, formerly Twitter.
The ‘AR’ in AR-15 refers for ArmaLite, the firm that created the gun in the 1950s before selling it to Colt’s Manufacturing firm. Several businesses manufacture variants of the AR-15, for which Colt’s patent expired in the 1970s, and one of these was used in the Lewiston mass shooting.
Later, Boebert tweeted a video of Joy Behar, host of ABC’s The View, saying, “If you shoot with an AR-15, let’s say you shoot a deer, you can’t eat it because you basically demolish the animal.”
“As I said earlier this morning, these are the people who want to tell us about gun safety,” the Colorado Republican added. Rep. Boebert was contacted by Newsweek via email for comment.
Earlier this year, Boebert co-sponsored legislation with other Republican senators to officially declare the AR-15 as “the National Gun of the United States.”
According to HuntStand, “the popularity of the AR-15 has spread to casual shooters and hunters—especially deer hunters.”
Other X users, like Andrew Wortman, who has over 236,000 followers on the network, reacted angrily to Boebert’s statements. “Who would you listen to about gun safety, @laurenboebert?” he said. Any of the hundreds of police officers whose lives you claim to respect more than anybody else’s who are shot and killed each year? What about the AR-15’s inventor, who stated that he never intended or imagined it for civilian use?”
“For those wondering, it stands for ArmaLite, which was one of the first companies to produce the AR-15,” David Hogg, president of March for Our Lives, which works for stricter gun regulation, responded. Whatever the case, semi-automatic rifles are significantly more lethal than muskets. Not only are the rounds more accurate and travel faster, but shooting and reloading take far less time.”
“Someone tell Lauren Boebert that no one gives a rat’s a** if the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for Armalite Rifle, Angry Rhinoceros, or Abhorrent Republican,” said a third X user with over 57,000 followers. The truth is that no citizen has any right to possess these mass killing weapons of death.”
However, not everyone was as harsh, with another X user responding, “Individual actions should not jeopardise American rights.” People who are afraid of freedom should relocate to China.”